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The 150 Best American Recipes: Indispensable Dishes From Legendary Chefs and Undiscovered Cooks by Molly Stevens and Fran McCullough

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Notes about this book

  • monicat on March 23, 2010

    This is a must buy cookbook. It's a compilation of all the wonderful recipes from "The Best American Recipes" cookbooks. If you can only have one book, get this one. Enjoy

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Manly meatballs

    • Cheri on November 24, 2010

      This was pretty good. Used my regular meatball mixture, then added the scallions, brown sugar & soy sauce. A little sweet overall, but satisfying for a snack. Nice combination to have the juices melt into the bread slices in the oven.

  • Mussels with smoky bacon, lime, and cilantro

    • Cheri on March 06, 2018

      We couldn’t get enough of this sauce. Delicious! Simple preparation with very satisfying results. Nice alternative to traditional preparation. Recommended.

    • L.Nightshade on January 18, 2012

      This dish was a big hit at Casa Nightshade. We are big mussel fans, and Mr. NS pronounced it one of the best mussel dishes he has ever had. I used large Penn Cove mussels (I usually prefer the smaller ones, but this was all that was available). My diversions from the recipe: I omitted the ketchup, did not substitute anything else, and certainly did not feel anything was lacking; I had locally-made double smoked bacon which rendered no fat whatsoever, so I added a bit of olive oil; and I had a very large, hot, jalapeno, so I only used about 2/3 of it. Delicious! Will definitely do this again.

    • anniemac on September 08, 2013

      I used 2 pounds mussels and sort of adjusted other ingredients, although probably used more tomatoes. I thought the ketchup might be odd, but added it anyway, and it added a slight sweetness and richness. This is definitely a keeper!

    • chawkins on May 22, 2013

      Very good. The lime juice added a touch of piquancy to the dish. I only have 2 lbs of mussel but I kept everything else the same. Fresh homemade baguettes were served to sop up all that wonderful sauce.

  • Smoky shrimp and halibut stew

    • Breadcrumbs on January 02, 2012

      p. 59 - This dish was inspired by some unusual looking new-to-me shrimp I picked up at a local Italian grocer who imports fresh fish and seafood from the Adriatic. The recipe calls for 1 pound of shrimp so I used 1/2 lb of Canocchie and a 1/2 lb of black tiger shrimp. I decided to pre-cook and shell the Canocchie prior to adding them to the stew as they were very spiky and I felt they might be unwieldy and difficult to eat otherwise. The dish comes together quickly by sauteing bacon then onion, fennel and potato. Wine, broth and clam juice is added along w tomatoes in their juice, fennel fronds and thyme. One the potatoes are tender, the shrimp and halibut are added and cooked through. We bumped up the fennel flavour by sprinkling some fennel pollen on the finished dish. Light and flavourful, this was a nice weeknight dinner that I’d make again sans Canocchie that is since I didn’t feel that the flavour they delivered was worth the amount of effort it took to prepare them.

  • Corn bread salad with grilled sausage and spicy chipotle dressing

    • Breadcrumbs on September 13, 2011

      p. 91 Another deliciously different meal from this wonderful cookbook. Especially simple if you use prepared cornbread. This dinner comes together in the time it takes to grill sausages and delivers an explosion of hot, sour, salty and sweet flavours. What our cornbread lacked in sweetness, our garden fresh grape tomatoes made up for. Our sausages were smoked garlic turkey and were outstanding with the spicy chipotle dressing. Tasting as I mixed, I found that one tbsp of pureed chipotle in Adobo was more than adequate for us and still allowed all the other individual flavours to shine. This one’s a keeper!!

    • chawkins on May 08, 2018

      This is quite simple even if you don’t use store bought cornbread. I baked my own cornbread using Suzanne Goin’s recipe, used Aidell’s roasted garlic and gruyere chicken sausages. For the dressing, I only used half of the chipotle and that amount was too little to be puréed in the mini processor, should have done it with a stick blender. Half of the chipotle provided enough heat for us, that, together with a whole tablespoon of cumin made a flavorful dressing that blended well with the cornbread and the other ingredients.

  • Rigatoni alla toto

    • Breadcrumbs on September 10, 2011

      p. 107 - This really is an outstanding pasta dish, so aromatic and surprisingly flavourful given how quickly it comes together. I had a gigantic, Old German Heirloom Tomato that was damaged en route home from the Farmer’s Market so I decided to toss that into the sauce just prior to serving. I did photograph and taste the sauce prior to doing this as I wanted to see how the dish was intended to be served. What I found particularly striking was the phenomenal flavour of the fennel-infused white wine cream sauce. I struggled to resist the temptation to dip a larger spoon into the pan and scoop up a much more generous sample of this luscious liquid!! That said, the addition of the super-sweet, juicy tomato chunks only served to further enhance this already scrumptious dish. This truly was delicious and, a dish I’d be happy to serve to company. The addition of the tomatoes did add to the visual appeal of this otherwise grey-ish dish. I’d highly recommend this one.

    • kjwright on April 24, 2012

      This is one of those recipes where the whole is greater than the sum of the ingredients. Really great sauce and good combination of ingredients. I've found that the recipe doesn't work quite so well with leaner sausage, though is fantastic with nice, juicy links. Agree with the high recommendation.

    • chawkins on June 24, 2012

      This is a spicy household, given the choice, we always buy the spicy version. So hot italian sausages were used and I was worried that the spiciness of the sausages would overpower the sauce, but not to worry, the red tint from the sausage spices actually gave the sauce a very appealing pink hue and the sauce was delicious.

    • Yildiz100 on November 08, 2015

      We cut the recipe in half and that worked well. Next time, we'll use half as much sausage as we aren't big meat eaters. I changed the technique a bit and allowed the wine to reduce a little longer before adding the cream.

    • stockholm28 on May 13, 2017

      This is a very rich and very simple pasta dish. I'd simmer a bit longer after adding the wine and I'd try with hot Italian sausage.

  • Cremini mushrooms with chive pasta

    • Breadcrumbs on January 02, 2012

      p. 108 With a big paper bag of Cremini mushrooms lingering in my fridge, I just had to give this recipe a try and I’m delighted to report we thoroughly enjoyed it. I have an abundance of chives in my garden throughout the growing season and can't wait to make this dish again with my just picked chives. I did add some garlic to the pesto this time around to give the flavours a boost, along w some chili flakes. This was a big hit at Casa BC. I enjoyed mine as is and served mr bc's w some grilled chicken. I'd love to try this w King Oyster Mushrooms. . . one of my favourites.

    • kari500 on September 02, 2012

      Love it. I think it would be just about as good (with less work) using the mushrooms and just an olive oil and garlic pasta.

    • milgwimper on June 30, 2014

      We loved this dish, a great way to use mushrooms and chives. I did follow the recipe the first time through but now add garlic as we love the taste.

  • Stir-fried chicken with lime and coconut

    • Breadcrumbs on September 14, 2011

      p. 129 Mmmm, we love the combination of coconut and lime so this was right up our alley. Super-simple to prepare and even quicker to stir fry this is a perfect week night dish. Even so, I did most of my prep on the weekend by chopping then freezing the chicken so all we needed to do during the week was pour in the marinade of lime juice and zest (that I’d prepared on the weekend) and let it sit for an hour before stir-frying along w some sliced chili and green onion. A sauce is made by adding fish sauce and coconut milk. The recipe calls for cilantro but we used basil and the dish was served over steamed rice. I’ll happily make this again as we had dinner on the table in 10 mins!! Next time I’d add more chilies as one wasn’t enough and, I’d add some veggies. I think broccoli or green beans would be yummy.

    • L.Nightshade on January 18, 2012

      This is one of those funny dishes that I was eager to do, based upon ingredients and the above reviews, and found very disappointing. I followed the recipe exactly, except I used half red and half green chile pepper, and I used coconut oil instead of olive, as I don't like to use olive oil for high temp wok cooking. I would think that a dish with chiles, lime coconut, fish sauce, and cilantro would be a can't miss in the Nightshade house. But we were very underwhelmed. The nastiest comment I made was that if this was served in the hospital cafeteria, I wouldn't be a bit surprised. Not inedible, but surprisingly bland and boring.

    • peachy on November 24, 2013

      Nice fast recipe for a quick dinner. Substituted neutral grapeseed oil for olive oil.

  • Braised beef short ribs Chinese style

    • Breadcrumbs on January 02, 2012

      p. 166 I’m happy to report that this dish was outstanding. We adore beef short ribs and this method of cooking them is now one of our absolute favourite preparations. The Chinese flavour comes from sherry, soy, ginger, scallions and star anise but it’s the star anise that stole the show in our view. We absolutely loved the fall off the bone tender, anise-infused meat. Instead of simmering this stove-top, I decided to let it finish in the slow-cooker. The first time I prepared this dish I served it over rice as I was thinking of it as an Asian dish. I’ve made it twice since and we prefer it over mashed potatoes or polenta. This is truly scrumptious and I’m happy to recommend it. I think this would be lovely over Pappardelle as well.

    • stockholm28 on November 04, 2015

      These were good the first day and even better on the second and third. I had a little under 3 lbs of short ribs, so I cut the recipe in half. This is a very easy recipe ... minimal prep, 3 hours of braising.

    • mamacrumbcake on January 02, 2017

      Very nice braised short ribs. Although the recipe title says "Chinese style" the finished dish barely hints at Asian flavors. Instead, it's a very rich, savory tasting dish. No one flavor overpowered the dish, instead the ingredients melded harmoniously with the star anise and ginger providing subtle background notes. The meat was fork tender after three hours. I puréed the sauce after degreasing it and removing the ginger and star anise. It was perfect with mashed potatoes. I agree with breadcrumbs that this dish is more suited to mashed potatoes than rice.

  • Roasted green beans with garlic

    • Breadcrumbs on December 21, 2012

      p. 189 An exceptionally delicious dish. I used French beans so I should have reduced the cooking time by 5 mins but, we loved these despite the fact that some of our beans were a bit toasty! I used less olive oil…approx 3 tbsp to roast 1 lb of beans and that was plenty. I spritzed the finished dish w the juice from one wedge of lemon so I likely used approx ½ tsp of juice and, drizzled the dish w some wonderful lemon-infused evoo that I buy on visits to Old Town Oil in Chicago. My anchovies weren’t mincing well so I tossed them, along w a tiny bit of evoo and the lemon zest into a pan and warmed them atop the stove until I could break them up. I’d hoped to have these as antipasti for the two of us over 2 meals but the beans were so utterly delicious that we greedily gobbled them all up in one sitting. I love this recipe and because of its bold seasoning, I think it’s best suited as antipasti. Fabulous.

    • chawkins on June 17, 2014

      This is just okay for me but then I did not follow the recipe entirely. I used frozen hariot vert, and convection on my countertop oven, so I roasted them at 425 for 12 minutes and I significantly reduced the amount of oil, about a tbs for 3/4 lb beans. I also meshed the anchovies into the lemon juice and lemon zest mixture and dressed the beans with the mixture.

    • Yildiz100 on December 12, 2016

      I had full sized, fresh beans and unfortunately, the garlic was burned well before the beans were cooked through. If I did this again, I'd add the garlic in approximately the last 5 minutes of cooking. Or I might reduce the garlic to 1 clove and stir it in raw with the anchovy etc at the end. I also reduced the oil. I started with 1 tablespoon and that was enough to coated the beans generously. I added a bit more with the final seasoning. I think that if I had used the full 1/4 cup, there would have been a problem with splattering oil in the oven. I also reduced the lemon due to reducing the oil, and subbed a pinch of dried thyme for the fresh. It was a bit too lemony for me, but my 4 year old loved the tanginess and declared these the "the goodest green beans ever."

  • Roasted asparagus with panko bread crumbs

    • JoanN on March 28, 2017

      Nice, light appetizer instead of salad to begin a heavier meal. Used white asparagus because the green were pencil thin. Good for a dinner party because it can be prepped and put on baking sheet in fridge for a couple of hours.

  • Spaghetti with slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, basil, and Parmesan cheese

    • JoanN on November 04, 2015

      Great way to use up about-to-pass-their-use-by date grape tomatoes. Even with lots of substitutions (shallots for onion, pesto for basil, no arugula, Dutch noodles for spaghetti) this was a very good clean out the fridge dinner. Can only imagine how much better it would be as written.

    • britt on August 11, 2011

      Recipe suggests substituting baby spinach in place of arugula if necessary. Recipe also calls for EVOO, large white onion, garlic, and sugar. I liked this a lot. Worth the 3 hour roasting time.

    • chawkins on November 05, 2015

      This was made a lot this past summer when the garden was producing tons of cherry tomatoes and basil. I used the counter-top oven, it was set to only 250 degree, so even on for 3 hours, did not overheat the kitchen. Even good without the arugula which did not grow too well in the heat of the summer.

  • Roasted sausages and grapes

    • Gio on December 12, 2012

      Roasted Sausages and Grapes, Pg. 169: This was a tasty and speedy method to cook sausages. Coupled with the green seedless grapes and balsamico it made a tasty week night meal. Used spicy Italian chicken sausages. Did not par-boil them first. Followed the recipe exactly from then on. Instead of mashed potatoes with butter and cream as the stated accompaniment I steamed small Yukon golds, halved them and seasoned with EVOO, S & P, dried thyme, dried oregano and a heavy sprinkle of sweet Hungarian paprika.

  • Frozen lemon cream sandwiches

    • DJM on August 30, 2015

      Great quick and very tasty. The lemon flavor is bright, the cream filling is so smooth and creamy. A good thing to make ahead. A sophisticated frozen summer treat.

    • anniemac on October 19, 2014

      Fast to put together and the flavors are great. Makes a terrific light summer dessert.

  • Southwestern black bean burgers

    • kari500 on September 02, 2012

      Doubled the recipe for 3 people (one can of beans is really not going to do it for us). We liked these a lot. I think next time I'll dip them in panko to give the outside a bit of crunch, but otherwise I thought they were pretty perfect.

    • anniemac on October 19, 2014

      The mayonnaise in these gives them a creamy texture and binds them together better than any other bean cake I've made.

  • Sear-roasted salmon fillets with lemon ginger butter

    • kari500 on September 02, 2012

      I'm one of the big fans of this. I love having a compound butter in the freezer for days when getting a nice dinner on the table is a bit harder. I have had success using this on other fish besides salmon - I believe I used flounder.

    • L.Nightshade on January 18, 2012

      I made this recipe using tuna. I can see that this might suit salmon a bit better than tuna, but it was very good. It did take bit of stirring to incorporate the lemon juice, but it ended up smooth and fully combined. I can see making a little tub of this to keep on hand for summer fish grilling. Some CH posters used zest instead of the juice to good effect.

  • Chicken thighs baked with lemon, sage, rosemary, and thyme

    • kari500 on September 02, 2012

      We thought this was unbelievably good, given how simple it is. Loads of flavor, nice crispy skin.

    • chawkins on July 14, 2015

      Great tasting chicken with ultra crispy skin. I only marinated for about 1.5 hours and it was quite flavorful. The hands-on time was spent on making the aioli and rubbing it on the thighs.

    • stockholm28 on January 20, 2014

      Good weeknight dish. Very simple. The technique of rubbing the allioli both under the skin and on the skin and roasting at 425F makes very crispy skin.

    • Rinshin on September 06, 2015

      Again, simple and solid recipe from this book. I like how chicken skin gets really crispy with aioli rubbed under the skin. The only thing I would like more of is the lemon flavor. Although I used plenty of lemon slices, the chicken did not get much of the lemon flavor infused. I ended up squeezing more lemon juice before serving. Like other recipes from this book, it's good but not mind blowing excellent.

  • Chicken fricassee with lemon, saffron, and green olives

    • kari500 on September 02, 2012

      Need to try just using regular lemon. We absolutely loved this. Bit of chopping involved, so not the best meal to make on a busy day, but definitely delicious.

    • chawkins on May 03, 2012

      Instead of the preserved lemon, I've always just use regular lemon as suggested by the notes from their test kitchen and it always turns out well.

  • Sardinian bread and tomato casserole

    • kari500 on September 02, 2012

      For me this was a disappointment. Maybe I expected too much.

  • Savory fig tart

  • Creamy anchos and onions

    • ellabee on September 09, 2012

      Outstanding when first served, great balance among the flavors. Not good as a leftover, as ancho heat increases and tarragon gets funky. This rules out as a full make-ahead, something to take into account for entertaining or big holiday meals (but prep time can be cut significantly by peeling and trimming the pearl onions ahead).

  • Arroz verde

    • ellabee on March 06, 2012

      Was a mistake to sub half & half for milk; extra fat slows absorption, lengthens cook time, makes unappealingly rich.

  • Italian pumpkin soup

    • britt on September 24, 2010

      This soup was very sweet. It wasn't bad, but, because of the sweetness, I couldn't eat much.

  • Fennel, red pepper, and mushroom salad

    • britt on October 18, 2011

      The recipe calls for 2 lbs fennel bulbs, trimmed, and I interpreted that as 2 lbs weighed after trimming off the stalks. I liked the salad, so I'd say that ratio of ingredients worked, but the recipe yielded a HUGE amount. I actually halved the recipe and still got 4-5 servings.

  • Matzo buttercrunch

    • britt on April 19, 2011

      I stored this overnight before eating. Half I stored in an airtight container; half I wrapped in parchment and plastic wrap. I was surprised to find that I preferred the imperfectly wrapped candy. The extra moisture made the candy tastier to me. I should mention that humidity is almost always near 50% where I live.

  • Sesame orange granola

    • britt on October 21, 2010

      This is good. I made it with dried cranberries as the editors recommend, and the granola has a Christmasy scent - not overpowering, but it makes the granola seem best suited to fall and winter.

  • Skillet blueberry cobbler

    • britt on June 29, 2011

      The whipped cream is optional; not optional are butter, sugar, self-rising flour, baking powder, salt, and milk. I suppose those were omitted as cupboard ingredients...

    • chawkins on July 01, 2013

      This is the quickest baked dessert that I'm aware of. Quite good for the amount of effort, very buttery and a tad too sweet for my taste, my berries were really sweet though. It says to scrape leftovers in non-reactive container for storage, and I know we could not finish it even after halving the recipe, so I just started with a non-reactive pan. Made my own self rising flour and baked in an 8x8" pan in the counter top oven.

  • Mayan mystery cookies

    • milgwimper on April 02, 2016

      These are really good cookies, but take that with a grain of salt because I made changes. I misread the recipe so I did not have the chocolate chips stuffed inside the cookies we mixed them into the dough. Then we made them much bigger than quarter size as the recipe states, so they took more than 8 minutes to make. These were delicate cookies but oh so delicious. Next time I will try to make them as written, as my usual, but I have written down my changes and they will be a keeper.

  • Wild rice and chickpea salad

    • Anadara on July 20, 2011

      Great potluck recipe

  • Crunchy cucumber, celery, and red bell pepper salad with cumin and fresh mint

    • MollyB on February 11, 2019

      Loved this recipe, and will definitely make it again. I took it to a dinner party, where we had it with chili, and 2 people asked for the recipe. It does not age well - I had some leftovers at lunch the next day, and it was sort of soggy and not very good. So make sure you eat it all when you first serve it, and don't dress until right before serving.

    • L.Nightshade on January 18, 2012

      I somehow missed the cucumber in the name and in the ingredients when I went shopping, so I made the salad with everything but. Very bright and refreshing, and so colorful. This salad was a great balance to the spice of our main dish, a turkey-sweet potato-curry soup. I also felt the mint disappeared somewhat, I attributed that to the dregs of the season, but looking at the other reviews, perhaps a little more mint is called for.

    • Yildiz100 on December 26, 2017

      For once a salad recipe that makes the right amount of dressing for the salad! I used every drop of the vinaigrette and it was just right. I swear that never happens and I usually end up with a big tub of leftover dressing that never gets used. The cumin and mildly minty dressing reminded me strongly of flavors you would find in chaat-maybe pani puri? So this could be a nice accompaniment to an Indian/ Western fusion meal.Still not sure I would repeat. It was nice but nobody took seconds.

  • Slow-roasted chipotle pork

    • MollyB on October 16, 2012

      Great, easy recipe that has become my go-to recipe for pulled/shredded pork. I've made it with both bone-in and boneless pork shoulder, and both work fine. I usually make a big batch and freeze some of it for enchiladas or pulled pork sandwiches.

    • chawkins on May 03, 2012

      Great result with minimal effort. I have also cooked this in a crock pot, also turn out well.

    • mamacrumbcake on October 25, 2016

      it would be hard to find an easier recipe. This makes a nice shredded pork with a kick of chipotle. Use the meat anywhere you like shredded pork--tacos, sandwiches, salad, etc. I used boneless country ribs for convenience. The meat was perfectly cooked in 2 hours 15 minutes.

  • Walnut and prune cake perigord style

    • MollyB on October 31, 2011

      Great cake, fantastic with coffee. I was initially disappointed with it when I tried it right after I made it, but it was dramatically transformed the next day (for breakfast).

    • DKennedy on January 16, 2014

      Rave reviews on Chowhound.

  • Kashmiri-style leg of lamb

    • DKennedy on February 12, 2014

      Kashmiri-style Leg of Lamb, p. 182 Made this along with new potatoes, sautéed green beans, store bought pakoras, basmati rice, and raita. Fantastic meal for very little effort. Used a 3 1/2 lb. boneless leg of lamb. Unclear if I was supposed to keep or discard the marinade. Also if I was supposed to dry off the meat and brown it before putting it in the oven. Plopped it into dutch oven with only the marinade that clung to the meat. Cooked for 30 minutes, covered, then cooked it at 350 for another 1.5 hours. As promised, the meat was meltingly tender. Added 4 new potatoes to the sauce about 1 hour into the cooking time. They were delicious served alongside the meat. Next time, will dry the meat, sear it on the stove top, then transfer to oven along with marinade and cook for 30 minutes at 450. Uncover, and continue cooking for 1.5 hours at 350, adding potatoes 1/2 way through.

    • chawkins on October 12, 2012

      This was delicious. I marinated the lamb for two days. The house was filled with the wonderful aroma of the spice rub while it was roasting. The meat was moist even though I overcooked it a little because I was out in the garden preparing for the predicted frost.

    • stockholm28 on January 25, 2016

      Very good meal with minimal effort. Requires 24 hours of marinating. Used 2 1/2 boneless leg of lamb and reduced cooking time. This smelled fantastic while it was roasting.

  • Tomato salad with cumin

    • zorra on March 07, 2017

      Peeled only the tomato used in the dressing. Vinaigrette is excellent if you love cumin.

  • Sugar snap pea and prosciutto salad

    • zorra on March 07, 2017

      Sugar snap peas are so good, & in spite of appealing ingredients, this recipe does little to improve them. One of a minority in this book I wouldn't repeat.

    • chawkins on June 13, 2017

      Unlike the previous reviewer, we enjoyed this salad, another good way to use up the sugar snap peas harvest from the garden.

  • The amazing five-hour roast duck

    • zorra on March 07, 2017

      Amazing is an apt name, especially with the suggested Chinese seasonings. A 9x13" pan is easier to maneuver though than a jelly roll sheet with hot duck fat.

    • chawkins on May 04, 2016

      Amazingly crispy skin, most of the fat were rendered. I got about 2 cups of fat from a five plus pound duck. Then meat were also amazingly tender and not dry at all. The down side was it tied you up for five hours as you have to flip the duck and drain the fat every hour.

  • Lemon posset

    • zorra on September 09, 2013

      Amazing recipe. I use (homegrown if available) Meyer lemon & add some of the peel as well.

    • chawkins on May 03, 2012

      Great result with very little effort.

  • Almond flan

    • zorra on May 05, 2015

      From the Fonda San Miguel in Austin, TX. My first-ever flan & it was fabulous. Luckily for me (since I did it atop a picnic basket perched on the ground) it even flipped out flawlessly. Neighboring concert-goers were drooling, but our group devoured it. Recipe also online here: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/almond-flan-238188

  • Spanish-style shrimp cooked in olive oil

    • L.Nightshade on January 18, 2012

      This dish was simple and very tasty. My only disappointment came when the dish produced no liquid. I noted that the recipe said to serve bread to sop of the juice, so I drove across town to the spot where good bread is sold. But I didn't notice at that time that there was no liquid added to the recipe. Where is all this glorious juice supposed to come from? I have never seen shellfish produce juice, unless it was those chemically edema-tized scallops. So we ate dry shrimp and dry bread. Don't get me wrong, this dish was delicious, and I'd happily eat it again, I just wouldn't plan on dipping bread.

    • chawkins on June 22, 2013

      This is a quick mid week meal and quite tasty, but I agree with Nightshade that there is not a whole lot of oil leftover for bread sopping. Most of the oil was absorbed by the garlic and the dry spices. If I made this again, I would use more garlic and more oil and use smoked paprika instead of plain paprika

  • Zuni roast chicken with bread salad

    • L.Nightshade on January 18, 2012

      This was a wonderful meal! The chicken was flavorful, the meat juicy and the skin crispy. The bread salad was a perfect accompaniment. In retrospect, it was a little too time-consuming for a workday dinner, but it will definitely be repeated on a weekend.

  • Spicy sirloin steak with cilantro relish

    • L.Nightshade on January 18, 2012

      All in all, a very tasty dish. We liked the flavors of both the marinade and the cilantro relish. The relish is just that, I might have preferred it a bit more emulsified into a sauce, at least for aesthetic reasons. And, as mentioned in the book, it would also be great on seafood.

    • chawkins on September 10, 2012

      Other than the steaks need to be marinated for couple of hours, this is a super easy recipe. The steaks are tenderize by the marinade and tasted great with the relish.

  • Sticky toffee pudding with chocolate chips and toffee sauce

    • L.Nightshade on January 18, 2012

      It's an awfully rich dessert, I think the chocolate is a bit of an overkill. If I try sticky toffee pudding again, I'll use Roxlet's recipe on CH, which clearly elicits raves.

  • Roasted mushroom-leek soup with crispy pancetta

    • jayg312 on January 16, 2012

      Good recipe, but needs tweaking. Will add an additional cup of chopped mushrooms at the end for texture, and will add a few cloves of garlic during the roasting phase. Dressed with Mushroom & Sage Oil on the second day, and that worked very well.

  • Pasta with asparagus lemon sauce

    • anniemac on October 19, 2014

      Quick and very good. Adds up to more than the sum of its parts.

    • Yildiz100 on January 19, 2016

      I liked the delicate flavor of the asparagus and lemon, but I didn't like the texture of the sauce, and the appearance was unappealing. I think it could be improved by making it a bit drier. I'd make it again if I have a craving for asparagus, but I won't be in a huge hurry to repeat this.

  • Italian shortbread with almonds and jam

    • anniemac on October 19, 2014

      This has become a go-to dessert for me, my mother and my sister. I've used various kinds of jam/marmalade, including lemon and ginger. I break it into various sized pieces and put it on a plate in the middle of the table, so everyone can take what they want.

  • Mashed potatoes with sage and white cheddar cheese

    • Evie on February 01, 2012

      Excellent. Did not bake in oven, I skipped this step

  • Chewy chocolate chip cookies

    • nadiam1000 on January 08, 2017

      so very good - crisp edges, chewy centers and lots of deep caramel flavor. I use half milk chocolate chips and I do not flatten the cookies before baking. I scoop all the dough into balls and freeze on a cookie sheet. I store them in a zip bag in the freezer and bake off as needed straight from the freezer.

  • Sweet and spicy pecans

    • hirsheys on February 11, 2019

      I didn't love these. Too much vinegar, I think.

    • mamacrumbcake on October 25, 2016

      Oh wow! These are addicting! Sweet, smoky, and spicy—it's hard to stop eating them. I brought them to a party during the summer and was immediately ordered to bring them to Christmas dinner! :) PS—easy to make too.

  • Heirloom tomato and watermelon salad

    • chawkins on August 13, 2015

      Very refreshing summer salad. I did not have yellow flesh watermelon, so the salad was somewhat monochromatic. The dill and the coriander seeds played well with the water melon.

  • Green chile cheese puff

    • chawkins on March 21, 2013

      Very easy since I used roasted home-grown poblano from the freezer. It is like a crustless quiche but is much lighter and does not taste as cheesy as a quiche, it actually taste more like a chile relleno.

  • Kona inn banana muffins

    • chawkins on July 25, 2013

      This is the tenderest muffin I've ever had. However, after removing the baked paper lined muffins from the pan, I found a thick layer of shortening on the bottom of each cup of the tin. After cooling the muffins on a rack, there are some shortening on the bottom of the paper liner and all over the cooling rack. The muffins are not greasy at all, but the sight of the shortening is kind of off-putting. Will experiment, may be use oil instead of shortening next time.

  • Monte's ham

    • chawkins on April 30, 2012

      Orange marmalade, dijon and brown sugar made a very good and non-messy glaze for my black forest ham. For a 10.5 lb ham, I cooked it @ 350 in a cup of water covered tightly with foil, then I lined another pan with the foil and moved ham over there, scored, studded it with cloves and glazed and baked uncovered till internal temperature is 147, glazing two more times in between and it took another hour or so. I quartered the glaze recipe and could have used a tad more.

  • Roasted broccoli florets with gremolata

    • chawkins on December 26, 2017

      Simple side dish that met a few special diet requirements, dairy and nut free.

  • Mushy zucchini

    • chawkins on October 08, 2013

      The recipe calls for 1 stick of butter for 1 lb of zucchini. I had a 12 oz zucchini and used 2.5 tbs of butter and it was plenty. You can't go wrong with zucchini cooked in garlic butter.

  • Turkey sloppy joes

    • chawkins on December 10, 2013

      Very good for a recipe using just simple pantry ingredients. I would never have made this if I were not left with no fresh produce in the house other than onions after what was supposed to be a dusting turned into 8 inches of snow.

    • Yildiz100 on September 23, 2014

      We thought this was ok. If we made it again, we'd prepare the turkey separately from the sauce and mix them together at the end. As written we thought the turkey was very over-cooked.

  • Tex-Mex macaroni and cheese with green chiles

    • chawkins on June 11, 2013

      We liked this a lot, it did not taste as rich as a regular mac and cheese even though there were quite a bit of cheeses and half-and-half in it. I suppose the poblano and the cilantro helped cut the richness and added fiber to a dish that was essentially carb and fat, making it healthier.

  • Shrimp and grits

    • chawkins on January 18, 2018

      Quick to pull together and quite tasty, however I found it a tad too dry, there was not much sauce. Per the direction of the box, the grits were done in about half the time called for, so I went with the box instruction. I used U16 shrimp and to avoid overcooking them, I pulled them out while the mushroom slices were still exuding liquid and returned them back with all the remaining ingredients when the mushroom were done. I still prefer my go-to, Tennessee shrimp and grits by James Villas, when decent fresh tomatoes are available.

    • Rinshin on March 28, 2014

      Wonderful taste and quick to make. I made the grits as written but added squid with shrimp and instead of regular mushrooms, I added maetake mushrooms. Since I also had some tomatoes I needed to use up, they were also added. This was perfect.

  • Crab cakes with scallions and jalapenos

    • chawkins on May 02, 2012

      Super rich crab cakes with the amount of butter and cream added.

  • Vodka-spiked cherry tomatoes with pepper-salt

    • Yildiz100 on December 25, 2017

      I had a helper and still this was a LOT of work to peel all of these tiny tomatoes. The marinade is made mostly with vodka so I was surprised (and disappointed, if I am being honest) that these didnt taste boozy at all. I wonder if the fact that the marinade contains no sakt meant it didn't penetrate the tomatoes much. Some reviewers on Epicurious found these to sweet but with the pepper as balance, I did not. Overall fairly tasty but not sure they were worth the effort, even for a special occasion. Maybe one more time with a bit more vodka for that boozy kick to make them taste festive!

  • Alice Waters's coleslaw

    • Yildiz100 on December 12, 2016

      Nice as a topping for fish tacos. Ok as side dish but I never feel inspired to eat it on its own.

    • stockholm28 on March 17, 2014

      Nice, fresh and light cole slaw. Similar to Swedish pizzasallad, but with jalapeno.

  • Sicilian slow-roasted onion salad

    • Yildiz100 on December 25, 2017

      Tried with the oil water garlic vinaigrette. Thought it was ok but not sure if I would repeat. The texture was a bit slimy. I could try again with the balsamic topping. Note that it needed more cooking for my taste.

  • Spaghettini with tuna sauce

    • Yildiz100 on April 24, 2018

      I enjoyed that this had more tomato and less tuna than other similar pastas. Never really knew the ratio would be better this way till I tried it. The pine nuts and raisins kind of disappeared. I would double the pine nuts next time and add the raisins earlier so they could infuse the sauce and soften a bit. Needs a bit more capers and maybe more garlic too. I was short of canned tomatoes and made up the difference with additional fresh, so that could have affected things.

  • Amazing overnight waffles

    • Yildiz100 on September 01, 2014

      These turned out perfectly. I considered halving te recipe for the three of us, but in the end, I am glad I didn't. There wasn't too much extra for the freezer.

    • stockholm28 on May 26, 2014

      This recipe couldn't be easier and is great if you are not a morning person. You mix the night before and just add egg and melted butter in the morning.

    • swegener on February 17, 2015

      Good, but my batter was thicker than the recipe indicated.

  • Ginger mascarpone icebox cake

    • Yildiz100 on November 25, 2015

      When I ground up the 12 ounces of gingersnaps I ended up with quite a bit more than the 2.25 cups that they estimated. I started with the 2.25 cups volume measure but ended up feeling it wasn't enough and melting a bit more butter to mix with the additional crumbs that I had set aside. In the end I used almost all the crumbs. It seemed the 5 TBS butter weren't quite enough either. *I had a hard time cutting this without turning it into a ball of cheese and crumbs. It seems like the crumbs maybe needed more butter to get the whole thing to stick together-maybe. I'll give it one more try with the crystalized ginger but I'm not convinced this is a keeper.

  • Ported rhubarb

    • kerrlm on March 08, 2015

      This is great to serve with cheesecake. Glad I will not lose this recipe again!

  • Senegalese peanut soup

    • stockholm28 on January 20, 2014

      Good if you like peanut soup, but I wanted a little more depth. If I made it again, I might use chicken stock rather than water as the base.

  • Crab soup with sweet spices and ginger juice

    • stockholm28 on October 17, 2015

      Wow! This was probably my weekly calorie allotment but it was fabulous. You first make ginger juice by a cup of chopped ginger with 3 Tbsps of warm water and blending to a paste, You then strain to get the juice. I cut the recipe in half and got about 4 Tbsps. You can freeze the remainder. She says you can also buy bottled ginger juice at Whole Foods. The soup is incredibly rich, made with heavy cream, crab, and lightly spiced with fresh cayenne chili ( I substituted serrano), garlic, onion, ginger juice, garam masala, and saffron. I was concerned that the garam masala might overpower the crab, but the crab was really the star and the spices and other aromatics just enhanced the dish. The recipe is here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/crab-soup-with-sweet-spices-and-ginger-juice-recipe.html

  • Marion Cunningham's buttermilk pancakes

  • Braised green beans with tomato and fennel

    • Rinshin on September 04, 2015

      Good solid old-time recipe for soft braised green beans often served at holidays and Thanksgiving. I've had this type of beans all the time in the past but not too much recently. Although the taste is good, it's better yet with a splash of vinegar or citrus before serving. I also added 1 thinly sliced fennel as well and I think that added to the taste.

  • Smoked salmon hash

    • Rinshin on May 05, 2014

      Because I like all the ingredients in this recipe I thought I would like the end result. Unfortunately, I did not. I can't pinpoint what it is I did not like, but it was certainly the taste I thought was mediocre.

  • Buttermilk scones

    • mamacrumbcake on October 25, 2016

      Sweet, buttery scones with a nice toothsome crunch on the outside and flaky and rich on the inside.

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  • ISBN 10 0618718656
  • ISBN 13 9780618718658
  • Published Sep 01 2006
  • Format Hardcover
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publishers Text

Each year, Fran McCullough and Molly Stevens launch an all-out search for the best and most distinctive recipes that appear in print, from the deservedly famous to the wonderfully obscure. And each year, rave reviews for their brilliant discoveries follow: from the New York Times, People, USA Today, Food & Wine, the Wall Street Journal, and many others.

Now the two editors raise the bar even higher, pitting their favorites from over the years against one another to create a collection of the alltime best-ever recipes. These are the recipes that no cook should be without, including everything from the perfect birthday cake to problemsolving holiday dishes to simple breakfasts for overnight guests. The book features recipes from the eras foremost cooks and chefs - Thomas Keller, Alice Waters, Jamie Oliver, Judy Rodgers, Paula Wolfert - as well as many finds from unexpected sources. In notes with every recipe, McCullough and Stevens answer any question a beginner might have and provide timesaving tips and useful techniques from their own extensive kitchen testing.



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